A GROUP of handbell ringers were able to meet recently following an enforced break.

Bishop’s Bell hosted an Invitation Rally at The Meon Hall in Meonstoke, near Bishop’s Waltham on September 18.

As well as playing music, the handbell ringers celebrated the life of Maureen McAndrew (Maude), Bishop’s Bells’ late musical director, who died in 2020 after 36 years as founder member and leader.

As requested by Maude, the ringing team played Pachelbel’s Canon in her memory as they were unable to attend her funeral due to Covid restrictions.

With months of not knowing if they could meet, the group were able to make preparations to meet with appropriate table spacing, ventilation, provision of hand sanitisers and frequent fresh air breaks.

The rally consisted of eight groups, totally 45 ringers, from the surrounding areas.

Ringers from Bishop’s Bells, Cottage Chimes, Fordingbridge, Kings Worthy, Owslebury, Swanmore, Sway with the duet team of Mandy and Geoff Peck took part in the rally.

Throughout the day, they were conducted by Maude’s sister, June Goble, as well as former Bishops Bells member, Katherine Butler. The rally pieces were Celebrations, Sakura, Cubley Brook, Siyahamba and La Rejouissance.

At the event, there was a raffle for Macmillan Cancer Support which raised £170.